Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A silly focus

So I see a headline today about Americans not blaming Obama for the economy:

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama benefits from a broadly held perception that others bear the bulk of responsibility for state of the U.S. economy, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll published on Tuesday. Asked who was responsible for the economic meltdown, 80 percent in the poll blamed banks, financial institutions and corporations. Some 70 percent also blamed consumers for taking on too much debt and the former Bush administration for lax regulation. Only 26 percent said the Obama administration was not doing enough to turn the situation around. Two-thirds of respondents approve of the way Obama is handling the presidency, and 60 percent approve of the way he is handling the economy."

Well, duh. Obama's only been president for two months--given that's such a short time into his presidency, of course Americans aren't going to believe that he "owns" all the problems he faces. Historically, they have never done so after such a short time. And there has been such obsessive focus by the administration, and the media, on banks, financial institutions, and of course blame for the Bush administration, that of course many will echo that back.

After a year, however--well in advance of the 2010 elections--Obama and others will not be able to simply blame his predecessors. By a year from now, he WILL "own" a lot of this. Let's see what the polls show then...